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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3951..

Cork Plantation

(Question No 319)

Mr Corbell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to the ACT cork plantation:

(1) What commercial arrangement has the government entered into with Amorim to operate the cork plantation.

(2) What are the terms of the arrangement and what conditions are attached to the arrangement.

(3) What financial return will the Territory receive under this arrangement.

(4) Which ACT wine industry partners are involved in the operation.

(5) Which party is responsible for the operational costs associated with the plantation.

(6) What are the details of the management plan prepared by Amorim.

(7) Was a market analysis prepared before any arrangement was entered into with Amorim.

Mr Smyth: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) No commercial arrangements have been entered into by my Department with Amorim with respect to the commercial harvesting of cork from the plantation. However, Amorim, the Canberra District Wine Industry Advisory Group, Chief Minister's Department and ACT Forests have had discussions about the future of the Cork Oak Plantation.

To date, the ACT Government and Amorim have jointly paid for a Portugese cork plantation expert to come out to Australia and inspect the plantation and report on options for improving its health.

(2) No formal agreement has been reached at this time with Amorin.

(3) At this point of time, the financial return to the Territory is unknown.

(4) The Canberra District Wine Industry Association is involved in the project. This is an alliance of ACT Government, CTEC, CIT, vignerons and wine makers. Ken Helm has been representing the region's vine growers/wine makers in this process.

(5) ACT Forests is, and has always been, responsible for the day - to - day management of the plantation. ACT Forests has organised the thinning of the plantation using a capital works allocation. The grant of $50,000 will cover the thinning, chipping of the residue, stacking of the logs.

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